Israel: Finance Minister seeks transfer of Russian funds to immigrants

i24NEWS - Reuters

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Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks at a conference of the Israeli newspaper "Makor Rishon" at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on February 21, 2022.
Yonatan Sindel / Flash90Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks at a conference of the Israeli newspaper "Makor Rishon" at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on February 21, 2022.

In Israel, there are 57,000 retirees who receive Russian pensions but are unable to transfer those funds

Israel's Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman is looking for ways to enable Russian immigrants to access their bank accounts in Russia and transfer money to Israel, a senior ministry source said on Tuesday.

Sanctions imposed by Western governments on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict have made it difficult for Russians living abroad, such as the ex-Soviet immigrants who tend to favor Liberman's political party, to obtain funds.

The ministry source said that, in Israel, there are 57,000 retirees who receive Russian pensions but are unable to transfer those funds to Israel.

Liberman plans to convene discussions with ministry staff and representatives of the Bank of Israel "on the transfer of funds from Russia to innocent citizens living in Israel," the source told Reuters, confirming a report in the Calcalist newspaper.

"In addition, there are citizens who are not under sanctions who... are trying to transfer their money from there to Israel through financial institutions that are active in Russia and not under sanctions but are facing difficulties due to the refusal of Israel banks to approve the transfers."

While Israel is not a party to the sanctions, it has obeyed them since they are set by allies the United States and Europe. In recent years, Israeli banks have been fined heavily by the US Department of Justice for tax evasion by American citizens.

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